13 Restaurants Gourmet Eaters Should Try in Dayton Ohio

People might not think of gourmet cuisine when they think of Ohio, but we’re here to tell you that restaurants in Dayton defy stereotypes.

In Dayton and its surrounding areas, you’ll find cuisines inspired by places around the world. You’ll find home-grown, family-owned restaurants and menus developed by world-class chefs. Throughout Gem City, there is no shortage of fine dining experiences for the seasoned gourmet eater and beginner foodie alike.

Whether you’re looking for a laid-back place to stop for dinner with a friend or a fancy upscale bistro to celebrate a big milestone, Dayton’s got a place for you. It was hard to narrow our list, but we’ve come up with 13 gourmet restaurants in Dayton that we love (and we think you will, too).

Meadowlark Restaurant

Where to find it: Near Kettering, just off Route 48

Cuisine served: American

Why we love it: Don’t be fooled by Meadowlark’s unassuming facade — inside you’ll find that Meadowlark offers the best of both worlds: fine dining in a laid-back, relaxing atmosphere.

What we recommend: The slow-roasted red beets starter (pictured above).

Shen’s Szechuan & Sushi

Where to find it: Northern Dayton, just off I-75

Cuisine served: Chinese

Why we love it: Shen’s is a full-on experience. From the second you walk up to the building you feel the vintage vibe, and the food tastes about as authentically Chinese as you can get.

What we recommend: Try the Triple Delight or Triple Harvest chef’s specials!

Stella Bleu Bistro

Stella Bleu Bistro, under construction in the Bushnell Building along Fountain Avenue, has put up their new sign. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Where to find it: The historic Bushnell building in downtown Springfield

Cuisine served: American

Why we love it: The location couldn’t be more charming than Springfield’s Main Street. We love the modern feel of Stella Bleu’s and the specialty cocktails to go along with any meal.

What we recommend: Stella’s Grilled Cheese — simple and delicious.

Thai 9

Where to find it: Oregon District

Cuisine served: Thai cuisine with Japanese sushi

Why we love it: Thai 9 is consistently rated one of the top restaurants in Dayton and for good reason. An authentic Thai atmosphere, big portions, and a diverse menu with great craft beer selections to go along with it. What’s not to love?

What we recommend: The Sushi Boat for two — try a little of everything!

Coco’s Bistro

Where to find it: Midtown Dayton

Cuisine served: New American

Why we love it: Coco’s is family-owned and they live up to their promise to make every diner feel right at home. Coco’s is upscale eating in a cozy, warm environment. We love that they source from local vendors, too!

What we recommend: The fried brie is bliss.


Where to find it: Miamisburg, just near the Great Miami River waterfront

Cuisine served: Classic American with seasonal inspirations

Why we love it: Watermark has a cool, upbeat vibe, fresh menu, and delicious seasonal cocktails.

What we recommend: The pan-seared scallops are one of Watermark’s pricier menu items, but you won’t regret it.

Jay’s Seafood

Where to find it: Oregon District

Cuisine served: Seafood

Why we love it: We love the traditional ambiance and familiarity of Jay’s as it’s always been — a Dayton staple since the 1970s.

What we recommend: Can’t go wrong with Jay’s famous crab cakes!


Roost Modern Italian in the Oregon District was founded by chef Dana Downs who takes traditional Italian foods and uses modern techniques and ingredients to develop unique flavors. The dinner-only restaurant is located at 524 E. Fifth St. in Dayton. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Where to find it: Oregon District

Cuisine served: Modern Italian

Why we love it: Roost is awesome for large groups or parties! If you’re looking for a fun and delicious place to celebrate your next birthday, anniversary, or milestone, this is the place.

What we recommend: The glazed heritage pork chop! It’s so pretty we could barely bring ourselves to dig in (but we’re glad we did).

Carvers Steaks & Chops

Where to find it: South Dayton, just off I-675

Cuisine served: Classic steakhouse dishes

Why we love it: Carvers is your quintessential classic steakhouse, the perfect place for a fancy dinner date or important meeting.
What we recommend: Go between Thursday and Sunday for the Carvers Prime Rib special.

The Oakwood Club

Where to find it: Oakwood, just off Route 48

Cuisine served: Surf and turf

Why we love it: The Oakwood Club will take you back in time — in a good way. We love the timeless community feels.

What we recommend: The Petite Surf and Turf entree is a favorite!

The Pine Club

Where to find it: South Dayton, near University Park

Cuisine served: American

Why we love it: It’s been a cornerstone of the Dayton community for nearly three-quarters of a century, and you can feel the history when you’re there.

What we recommend: Don’t think twice — go right for the filet mignon.


Where to find it: Oregon District

Cuisine served: World fusion with Peruvian, French, and Mediterranean influences

Why we love it: Salar’s fusion menu is a delicious combination that’s just so unique you’ll feel transported to the places that inspire it.

What we recommend: The Peruvian-style lamb shank (with equally delicious saffron risotto).

Winds Cafe

Where to find it: Yellow Springs, just off Route 48

Cuisine served: European-inspired with an American twist

Why we love it: Winds started out as a quirky little cafe and hasn’t ever lost its hidden-gem feel. We also love their commitment to ethical, sustainable producers.
What we recommend: Cheese service! Seriously, do it.

Learn More about Living in Dayton

Dayton is a great place to live and work, and restaurants aren’t the only thing it has to offer. Read more about Dayton on our blog.

Already planning a move to the Dayton area? Contact Oberer Homes to learn how we can help you build! your dream home.

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